College Football News Preview 2020: Syracuse Orange Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Syracuse Orange Offense
PROTECT … THE … BACKFIELD. Is QB Tommy DeVito really that good? The world won’t know if the offensive line allows 50 sacks like it did last year.
Along with that, the veteran offensive front that gets four starters back has to be way more consistent for a ground game that sputtered and coughed way too often. The Orange ran for 70 yards or fewer in four of the first seven games – losing them all – with no touchdowns in any of them.
Time of possession has never mattered much in the Dino Babers offensive coaching world, but the chances will be there early on to pound away, let DeVito settle in, and keep things moving. The Orange are 9-1 in their last ten games when they run for 200 yards.
Biggest Key To The Syracuse Orange Defense
Ramp up the pass rush again. It’s been hit-or-miss under Babers, coming up with just 16 in 2017, destroying backfields with 43 in 2018, and dropping to a not-bad 30 last year. However, 21 of those 30 sacks are gone.
Senior Josh Black is a terrific lineman, but he’s not your typical pass rusher. There are a whole slew of untested or banged up parts that have to rise up with Alton Robinson and Kendall Coleman done.
Fortunately, the team has a month before dealing with a passing game it’ll have to worry about when Louisville comes to town.
Key Syracuse Orange Player To A Successful Season
WR Taj Harris, Jr.
A few of the offensive linemen have to turn into stars, the defensive linemen have to step up, and it would be a plus if Nolan Cooney could quickly replace punter Sterling Hofrichter, but the O needs to get back its explosion.
It wasn’t all that long ago when Syracuse got massive production out of Amba Etta-Tawo and Steve Ishmael – that was missing last year, even with Trishton Jackson having a nice season
Harris has been fine. He caught 37 passes for 559 yards and two touchdowns as the No. 2 man on the other side of Jackson. Now he needs to rise up and be the next 1,000-yard target for Dino Babers.
Key Game To The Syracuse Orange Season
Louisville, Oct. 3
Nothing ever seems to work according to plan when it comes to Syracuse – for good and for bad – and that included getting drop-kicked by Maryland last year 63-20. However, Clemson was also on the slate in the first three weeks of a 1-2 start.
This year? At Boston College, at Rutgers, Colgate, at Western Michigan. Yes, three of the first four games are on the road, and yes, Syracuse could absolutely lose one or two of them.
But it’s also possible to start 4-0 against this light run.
Do that, and beat Louisville after losing five of the last six in the series, and it might be a 6-0 start with Liberty up next before dealing with the Clemson problem.
– Syracuse Orange Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2019 Syracuse Fun Stats
– Penalties: Syracuse 107 for 887 yards – Opponents 72 for 625 yards
– Sacks: Opponents 50 for 297 yards – Syracuse 30 for 172 yards
– Average Yards Per Carry: Opponents 4.9 – Syracuse 3.7